MJF Yourself: 3 Ways to Help You Find Balance

Surfing. Skateboarding. Skiing. Living. It’s all about balance. Sometimes in the middle of chaos we need to remember how to stay balanced and decipher what is important and what’s not in that moment.


1. Be flexible and easy on yourself. We only have 24 hours in the day. Find the 5 things that are most important to you to get done and, if you do them, pat yourself on the back. If you don’t, pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hug. Some stuff is just not going to crossed off the list. Think back to ALL the things you have done in that day, week, month and where you have come from. Take a moment to enjoy a sense of accomplishment and happiness that you are being productive and making progress.



2. Remember “no” is a complete sentence. No one likes saying no but, to achieve balance, you are going to have to whip out the negatory word once in a while and understand that NO EXPLANATION is needed. This is something I struggle with but we cannot possibly do everything that we want to do and that everyone else wants us to do. Protect your priorities, protect your sanity, protect yourself. You cannot be a compass to anyone if you are too overwhelmed to see straight. When requests or needs pop up, ask yourself: what feeling is this going to give me if I accept? It should be happiness and accomplishment. If it won’t: what is the worst case scenario if I say no? Chances are everyone will be okay.



3. Make time for salt water.  Dance hard. Swim long. Run fast. Watch a funny YouTube clip that makes you laugh so hard you CRY.  Sometime the best thing you can do to weather the stormy waters is do a big ol’ cannonball into them and feel the rush of the ocean. Step away from the to do list for a moment: enjoy the live you’ve built and working so hard for. Take a moment to put things into perspective. Life is a balancing act and, with the right mindset, the most epic ride you can imagine.




Superfood Supastars: Algae Whiz

Leanne- Spirulina 2


My mom has this story she tells about my grandfather working as a boy on his family’s farm in the old country.  One day he had to carry a big bucket of hot oil across a field to a neighboring barn (no, I don’t know what for but just go with it).  He spilled it on his shoulder and all over his entire arm.  When he was carried into the house and my great grandmother saw how serious the burns were she ran to the pond on their property.  She waded into the water and collected the algae the frogs and snakes were living in.  When she returned to the house she spread the substance all over my grandfather’s burns.  Immediately it cooled and soothed the sting.  She continued to treat the burns with the algae for about a week after the incident.  The burns healed in rapid time and left absolutely no scars.


This story used to really gross me out.  Actually, it’s still pretty gross to me.  But as I grew up and grew more fascinated by disease prevention and homeopathic remedy I realized that what that algae was doing was working as an anti-inflammatory, and if it can work like that on an external wound, imagine what it’s doing for our bodies when we ingest it.  So I started to explore different ways to get that good green stuff into my system and I found that Spirulina is my prefered method.  It’s a funky powder you can find at any hippy dippy health food store near you.  And I mean, yeah, it smells weird when you open the container and take a whiff but it boosts your energy level, your immune system, and it’s packed with amino acids.  So here are some pretty incredible ways to consume it and fall in love with it:




Green Breakfast Smoothie


in a blender combine:

one large scoop of Spirulina

a handful of spinach

one frozen banana

a splash of coconut water

one teaspoon coconut oil

a sprinkle of flax seed

a half a cup frozen mixed berries

a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice

one date


This makes a rough 16 ounces of smoothie.  It’s really great for the morning because it’s filling.  Also the flavor has some serious depth to it.  When it comes to using fresh juice (in this case orange) in a smoothie, it can be a hassle to juice just one or two pieces of fruit for a single beverage.  So if you make smoothies often but don’t feel like getting your juicer involved every time, make a large batch of the juice at the beginning of the week.  I make this particular smoothie a lot so I always keep a large container of freshly squeezed orange juice in my fridge for whenever I need a splash here or there.  Also, If you’re tempted to take the easy route and use regular pasteurized orange juice I strongly advise against it.  That stuff’s alright but the fresh squeezed is a totally different animal and you know it.


Leanne- Spirulina


Creamy Avocado Dressing


This stuff is wild.  Dip raw vegetables in it, toss mixed greens with it, spread it on your sandwich or eat it with a spoon even, I don’t care.  Just eat it.  It’s rich and creamy and tastes like spring time.


one scoop of Spirulina

One avocado

half a zucchini (chopped)

a drizzle of olive oil

a drizzle of coconut oil

one large handful of fresh dill (you can use dried if that’s all you’ve got)

the juice of one large lemon

a pinch of sea salt

a splash of pickle juice (sour or dill… or whatever’s sitting in your fridge)

one small clove of garlic


Put it in the blender on high until it’s fluffy and you’re done.


Algae Pesto


I should come up with a better name for this one because again, I know the whole algae thing can be a turn off… but whatever, this recipe is absolutely amazing and really versatile.  You can put it on anything.  It’s great with roasted vegetables, pizza, or in pasta dishes.  It works really well with anything involving tomatoes.  I’m currently eating it drizzled over a salad of arugula, chopped almonds, and balsamic vinaigarette and it rules.  It’s pesto, you’ll figure it out.


In a blender combine:


A large bunch of fresh basil leaves (no stems!)

a handful of spinach

a half cup of olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts (or cashews if you’re too broke for pine nuts)

the juice of one large lemon

2 large garlic cloves

sea salt and black pepper to taste

one scoop of Spirulina


All of these recipes are flavorful, raw, and extremely beneficial to your health.  Also they’re ridiculously easy.  Did you notice that all three pretty much just involve the act of throwing stuff into a blender?  You totally got this.  So go ahead and enjoy incorporating algae into your everyday cooking, because now you know how to… you hippy.


Written by the awesome Leanne Kalpakis, a member of the MJF family and a bonafide mermaid rock star. Continue to check back to MJF Life for more awesomeness from her.


Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger.  Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her.  It was then that her love affair with whole foods began.  As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet.  With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style.  When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.


All Good Things Are Wild And Free



At MJF, we are diehard beach bums. Cold, hot, overcast, pouring rain: there is something renewing and spiritual about being at the beach. Usually because it means you are stopping to enjoy life. Part of MJF life is taking breaks to take it all in.




We spent a day collecting treasures, soaking up the salty air and reveling in the art of doing nothing but enjoying Mother Nature. Yes, please believe, salty air and sand beneath your toes is epic and therapeutic: but, even if you don’t live close to the ocean taking some time to enjoy something that costs nothing is a powerful thing. Feeling the warm breeze on your face, sitting on a park bench, dipping your toes in a pond, stopping to look up from your phone and soak up the sun, or observing the clouds like you’re seeing them for the first time. These are things that ground you and make you take pause and remind you how good it is to simply be alive.



Testing the wind. Ummmm, let’s see. Yup, it’s every which direction.



Montauk rocks.